Asmiati Malik, for The Diplomat

The Southeast Asian bloc has pledged to tackle the issue, but resources and coordination are lacking.

In May, the port town of Labuan Bajo played host to the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, under the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.” However, the theme of growth contrasts starkly with the reality that there are still many unresolved maritime security problems in Southeast Asia.

Accordingly, the high-level regional meeting resulted in agreements to support the protection of migrant workers, prevent human trafficking, and address the high number of illegal fishing practices throughout ASEAN countries.

During the recent 4th Meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization Agreement on Port State Measures, which was held in Bali on May 8, delegates also highlighted the importance of tackling Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The meeting emphasized that IUU fishing is a global concern and a threat to the conservation and sustainability of marine resources and ecosystems, given that more than 600 million people depend on the sector for their livelihoods worldwide. These concerns about economic losses are particularly relevant in maritime Southeast Asia, where hundreds of thousands of fishers earn their living from the ocean.

The remainder of the article can be read here at The Diplomat

Asmiati Malik

Asmiati Malik is an Assistant Professor for International Political Economy at the Universitas Bakrie Indonesia, focusing on energy and fishery policy governance. She is also a senior researcher at ASIAN Scenarios and an associate member of IndonesiaStrategist.

Feature image: via Wikimedia Commons